Thursday, January 22, 2015

Warderick Wells

Warderick Wells is where the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park is headquartered. It's a beautiful island with paths for hiking and exploring. You can get a mooring ball in the channel that runs along the northwest shore where the current rips through and makes grabbing the ball in tight quarters a quiet and focused moment for Captain and First Mate and a great opportunity for the kids to have one of their perfectly timed screaming fights. They can spend seven hours sailing in total boredom getting along beautifully but when it's time to anchor, cue the fireworks. We've instituted a sterile cockpit rule which is frequently violated and we've heard this is a strange epidemic among boat kids. Not to mention the colorful vocabulary that will not get them any points on the SATs.

Because the Park is a "no take" zone, the snorkeling is really good. You just need to time it for slack tide because the currents are strong near the cuts between the islands. The trade winds usually blow from the east consistently during this time of year with the occasional front moving through. But this year has seen more than its fair share of frontal passages. It can be an inconvenience dodging the weather but when the wind blows from the south or west you get opportunities to dive in spots that are usually too rough. We saw a shark that frequents the area and many rays. Not to mention all the colorful little fishies. We snorkeled a lot with our new friends aboard No Rehearsal who we hooked up with in Staniel Cay and who put us to shame in terms of energy level. 
Admiring the view of the Exuma Sound from the blow holes which weren't blowing because it was low tide and the Sound was relatively quiet

Mangroves are an important part of the ecosystem

Another beautiful sand bar exposed at low tide. And a cute kid enjoying it.

Tangent on a mooring ball and us grabbing a moment on the sand bar

These little guys are called Hutia and they come out in the evening looking for handouts from the cruisers who gather on the beach at sunset for cocktails and snacks. This is a Hutia Selfie.

When you have a camera instead of a spear in your hands you actually get a chance to visit with these guys

They just swam across the channel to the sand bar

Cubby's turn but she's hesitant. The current is no joke!

Tangent on a mooring behind the trawler

On one of the trails. The rocks are limestone and very sharp. It's the only time we ever wear shoes.

A little bridge that seems either unnecessary or 1/4 as long as it should be. 

The cool water feels good on a warm hike

Murphy's hideaway but we still don't know who Murphy is. Neither does the kid who lives on the island. 

Drew is currently reading Lord of the Flies and this photo seems to tie into that well

From left to right are Drew, Evelyn, Ally from "Ally Cat", and siblings Elizabeth and Drake who live on Warderick Wells with their mom and the others who work for the Park. When you don't go to school or live in a neighborhood it's really special when you have a chance to grab these spontaneous moments of friendship and playfulness. This play time morphed into an invitation to movie night at Drake and Elizabeth's house and a couple of free hours for us to mingle with the adults on the beach. I bet these two kids show up on hundreds of sailing blogs as they do not pass up an opportunity to hang with cruising kids!

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